Forum

The Forum provides opportunities for community members to offer public presentations on their scholarly and other interests. The Forum meets on most Thursday afternoons during the academic year, from 4:15-5:15. Presentations are informal, generally lasting about 40 minutes, and are followed by a question and discussion period to end the hour.

All are welcome to attend — students are especially encouraged — and refreshments are provided.

January 15, 2015
Susan Cogdill
GDCC Pres. Conf. Room - CSB
Motivation in the Learning Environment: Zip Line or Iron Maiden?
This proposal explores beliefs students may have about their ability to learn that may have profound implications for them in the classroom. While we understand our pedagogy and how to teach, we may see different student motivational patterns that play out in classrooms that may inhibit academic success. This forum introduces a motivational theory called mindset, and will highlight the contrasting paths affecting motivation to learn in the classroom. This session will end with suggested strategies for instructors to incorporate in their classrooms to encourage greater student participation and willingness to take risks.

January 22, 2015
Carlton Chase

Little Theatre (Q346) - SJU
Assessing a Christian's Response to the the Annihilating Self-Communication of the Suicide Bomber
A person enters a public space-market, café, church-unnoticed, identity camouflaged against the vernacular of the everyday. In a flash-self-communicating through willful self-annihilation-the anthropology of a hitherto unknown individual is irrevocably
imbedded in the history(s) of other human anthropologies without any consent. In the violence of such a moment, against the compelling mystery of the self-erased suicide bomber, a starting point opens up for the Christian witness to the event to enter into, and to begin a radical exploration of mystery, identity, of the other, of the self, framed against the Christian tradition, and reflected against the Christ.

The 'call' of the bomber cries to be heard and to be addressed: how this is met-defines the authenticity of the Christian identity.
At hand are issues of proximity, temporality, efficacy, deontology, mercy, purpose, permanence, kenosis, transformation, and hope.

January 29, 2015
Lynn Ziegler

Quad 264 - SJU
Online Security, Cryptography, and Quantum Computing
Most secure online transactions are handled using RSA encryption for key exchange to prevent interception of private information like credit card numbers, bank accounts, etc. Unfortunately, development of quantum computers could break RSA (and other encryption systems). I will speak about the problem and potential solutions if quantum computers become available.

February 5, 2015
Steve Saupe

TRC Board Room - CSB
Sister Remberta Westkaemper: A Fine Lady and Excellent Field Botanist
Sister Remberta, the first full-time president of Saint Ben's and founding member of the CSB Biology Department, was the preeminent authority on the flora of Stearns County. This presentation will focus on Sister Remberta's botanical activities with an introduction to the CSB|SJU Bailey Herbarium.  This work was supported by a Centennial Year Fellowship.

February 12, 2015
Eric Fought

Quad 264 - SJU
People of Faith and Prophetic Voices: The Role of Faith Voters and Activists in Recent Minnesota Political History
In November of 2012, political scientists, other experts familiar with Minnesota politics and the general public were stunned by the comfortable defeat of two constitutional amendments by voters. Amendment one, also known as the marriage amendment, would have changed the state's constitution to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Amendment two, known as the voter ID or voter restriction amendment, would have required voters to show a photo ID in order to cast a vote in Minnesota elections. The Voter ID question enjoyed 80% favorability just a year before the election.

In both of the campaigns against these ballot measures, highly organized and motivated people of faith played a pivotal role in their eventual success. In this presentation, I will explore the political, theological and racial dynamics that played out in both the Minnesotans United for All Families campaign against the marriage amendment and the Our Vote Our Future campaign against the voter ID amendment. While I was engaged and familiar with both campaigns, I served as communications director of Our Vote Our Future.

I will also discuss the role of people of faith and organizations that help organize socially-engaged Minnesotans in passing legislation in the 2013 and 2014 sessions of the Minnesota Legislature.

February 19, 2015
Pam Bacon

Gorecki 120 - CSB
He's Sarcastic and She's Nice: Students' Stereotypes of the Typical Male and Female Professor
Gender stereotypes are prescriptive. For example, if people have a stereotype that women are warm and caring, then they also tend to have a societal prescription that women should be warm and caring. When an individual fails to fulfill a gender prescription, he or she may face social punishment. For example, if a woman is cold and uncaring, then she might be judged more harshly than a man who is cold and uncaring because the woman is violating the gender prescription but the man is not. Research on gender stereotypes suggests that students' perceptions of the best and worst college professors are influenced by the gender of the professor. Do students also rely on gender stereotypes when they think of the typical male and female professor?

In this Thursday Forum, I will present the results of my research on students' perceptions of the typical male and female professor. After discussing the results of my study, I will explore the potential impact of students' unconscious reliance on gender stereotypes on their behavior toward their male and female professors, their interpretation of male and female professors' behavior, and their student opinion survey responses.

February 26, 2015
Tiffany Clements & Kelly Berg

Gorecki 120 - CSB
#Handsonlearning: Lessons from student "takeover" of CSB/SJU social media
In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, CSB and SJU communication students "took over" CSB/SJU institutional profiles on Instagram and Vine for six weeks in the spring of 2014. Students in the Communication Department's New Media Applications and Analysis course planned, prepared and shared photos and video for their assigned profile. Groups were responsible for setting goals for their takeover, creating a profile of a target audience and applying lessons learned about effective branding through visual communication.

In this presentation, Associate Professor Kelly Berg and CSB/SJU Social Media Specialist Tiffany Clements will discuss learning outcomes from the collaboration and takeaways for future Communications and Marketing efforts.

March 12, 2015
Steve Wagner

Little Theater (Q346) - SJU
"I think, therefore I am"- Why Should I Care?
Rene Descartes' claim, "I think, therefore I am," is perhaps the most well-known statement in all of Western philosophy. During the past 350 years, it has been the subject of intensive philosophical scrutiny as well as the subject of endless jokes and bumper stickers. Yet, after all this time, its significance is still being debated. I will offer a new way of understanding Descartes' idea which, I believe, is true to his intent and which shows that his claim has a crucial role to play in our understanding of ourselves.

March 19, 2015
Lisa Platt

GDCC Pres. Conf. Room - CSB
My Husband is Now a Woman? The Experiences of Transgender Individuals in Partner Relationships
How would you react on a first date if the person disclosed they used to be the other gender? Or if your partner/spouse decided to switch genders?
This research examines the psychological and social challenges transgender individuals often face when seeking and maintaining romantic partner relationships. The experiences of the transgender community are beginning to receive more attention in both psychological research and mainstream culture. One area conspicuously absent is comprehensive research regarding the nature and challenges of transgender individuals' partner relationships. This study was a qualitative exploration of the transgender partner experience. Participants were recruited nationwide through convenience sampling. Participants completed a one-hour, semi structured interview. The phenomenological analysis found several themes in the data including: (a) Disclosure to Current or Future Partners, (b) Sexual Orientation labeling, and (c) Constructing Gender Identity. Participants also reported on the importance of partner, family, and societal support to help maintain health romantic relationships. This work has implications for applied counseling settings and for the transgender community as a whole.

March 26, 2015
David Fremo

Little Theatre (Q 346) - SJU
Critical Thinking and the Integrated Self; The Project of Catholic Education in Secondary Schools
The human person is powerfully highlighted in Gaudium et Spes, the final constitution of Vatican II, as a unified spiritual, intellectual and physical being. Contemporary philosophers of education provide models of critical thinking that can help Catholic secondary schools to place the human person at the center of study and student development.

April 9, 2015
Gretchen Hughes

GDCC Pres. Conf. Room - CSB
Culture, Religion, and Transition: Reflection and Growth through International and Interfaith Experiences
Cultural competence, social inclusion, interfaith dialogue, and transitioning into post-graduate life. This forum is a culmination of my experiences here, at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, from the perspectives of a student, alum, and faculty member.
International internships in Shanghai, China and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina helped me discover a love and curiosity for cultures and faiths outside my own. Come hear one Bennie's personal and professional accounts of time spent abroad and experiences working as the Intercultural and International Student Services Fellow and CSB Residential Life Staff Resident. I will share how these positions have, are, and will continue to shape me as I move into my future and how I believe CSB|SJU is and can continue to work towards becoming an increasingly more equitable and inclusive community.

April 16, 2015
Yvette Piggush

Little Theatre (Q346) - SJU
Women and Wit in the Early United States
"So many ahs! and ohs! so much fainting, tears, and distress" is how one early American female novelist described her own bestseller. Women's writing in the early United States is notoriously tear-saturated. After the Revolution, writers praised simplicity and sympathy and admonished female readers that witty banter was a selfish indulgence. This presentation examines how and why women's writing continued to advocate laughter by focusing on an unlikely source: the novelist Hannah Webster Foster. Foster is best known for The Coquette (1797), a novel seemingly so anxious to generate a good cry that it ends with an image of the heroine's tombstone. I will argue, however, that in The Coquette and especially in her second novel, The Boarding School (1798), Foster represents both the risks and the possibilities of women's wit. For Foster, witty stunts provide an opportunity to break through limited possibilities for women. Through Foster's writing, we can gain insight into the ways that gender and historical circumstances shape how humor circulates, to whom, and why.

April 30, 2015
Brenda Raygor

Little Theatre (Q346) - SJU
The Muddy Middle: A Brief Examination of the Origins and Implications of the Separation of Church and State in America
The debate about the church's involvement in political affairs has raged for centuries. Throughout history we see examples of governments being reformed to accommodate religious freedom as well as abuses and tyranny seemingly endorsed as God's will. How are we as Christians in a day and age of religious and political pluralism to find our foothold in for the future of America? What is our responsibility, where does it begin and end, and how on earth did we get here? Some have gone too far and have blurred the lines between evangelism and activism and still others have not gone far enough by preaching total pacifism and apathy.
America has been formed and shaped by revolutionaries, those who would not stand for the status quo. As we move forward into evermore treacherous territory what can be learned from the examples of men like Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, John Hughes, Martin Luther King Jr. and others? This treatise will attempt a very basic introduction to the origins of the Church's existence in our country, the legacy that has been created for us, as well as the current viewpoints of some of our religious and political leaders and what the implication may be.